Environmental Planning - FAQ
1) I want to undertake a project, such
as building a house or installing a culvert.
Is Saugeen Conservation approval needed before I start?
Usually you should start by
contacting the staff at Saugeen Conservation. Feel free to call 519-367-3040 ext. 221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need to provide us with a full property description, such as: municipality,
lot and concession, civic address, and assessment roll number if known. You will also be asked for a brief
description of the project. Providing a
site plan is helpful.
initial stage, Saugeen Conservation staff will typically respond within about
two business days as to whether a permit is required or not. If our approval is required, then further
review may be needed before a response is given. Usually a proposal requiring more detailed
review will be assigned to a specific staff person. This pre-consultation stage between staff and
the proponent helps to streamline the subsequent permit application review
2) Am I allowed to build on this
location location!! The location of the property and the location of
building site are keys to answering this question. If you know what and where you want to build
on the property, providing us with a site plan is helpful. A hand-drawn sketch is usually sufficient for
a site plan at this time.
building site (or related construction works like the on-site sewage system
and/or driveway) will be within a ‘Regulated Area’, then Saugeen Conservation
permission must be obtained before any construction or site alteration begins.
situated within a Regulated Area does not necessarily mean a building isn’t
allowed. Whether or not development is
permitted largely depends on the natural hazards that may be present (e.g.
flood plain, wetland, steep slope), the policies in effect, and the specific
aspects of your proposal.
Please note: You will still need to get all other applicable approvals in addition to Saugeen Conservation's permit (e.g., approval from the municipality).
3) How do I
know if my property is in a Regulated Area?
you contact Saugeen Conservation for specific information about a
property. For general information about
Regulation 169/06, click here.
By the way,
all Conservation Authorities Regulations were amended by the Province of
Ontario in 2006. If you have information
about a property that pre-dates the year 2006, it is advisable to contact us
again so you can obtain current facts.
4) My property is partially zoned
"Hazard Land" - what does this mean?
5) How do I apply for a permit?
by-laws are established by municipal councils for controlling the uses of
property. One type of zoning category is a "Hazard" zone (or similarly named zone, such as Environmental Protection, Environmental Hazard,
or Natural Environment zone). A hazard zone identifies areas where natural
hazards exist, including floodplains, steep slopes, Lake Huron shoreline, or
organic soils. Because of these site limitations new buildings are generally
where the Hazard zone is located and the permitted uses, refer to your
municipality’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law.
Many of these By-laws are available on-line through County or Municipal
websites. But, be aware zoning by-laws
can sometimes be complicated documents.
So, if accuracy is of importance you should confirm the zoning status by
contacting the applicable municipal office.
If you want
to know more precisely where the Hazard zone boundary is situated on a
particular property, or why that zone is there at all, please contact Saugeen
if a property is affected by a Hazard or similar zone, or is adjacent to a
Hazard zone, then that area is also subject to Regulation 169/06 administered
by Saugeen Conservation.
6) What if my proposal involves working around water?
actually submit a permit application form, Saugeen Conservation recommends you
consult with our Planning and Regulations staff. This ‘pre-consultation’ stage is very
important, and it will ultimately save you time and effort. For more information about this first step, see question #1.
pre-consultation step, Saugeen Conservation staff will often ask for more
information about your project. We may
also notify you about additional supporting information that is needed. Once initial information has been collected a
preliminary review then follows. In most
cases you will be informed as to any policies or factors that could affect your
proposal, and revisions to your plans might be suggested.
inspection will be conducted at some point.
This viewing of the physical characteristics of the site in question is
an essential step before a permit may be issued.
pre-consultation you may submit the application, along with the applicable fee. Blank application forms are available by
contacting Saugeen Conservation. Upon
receipt of a complete application, Saugeen Conservation staff will perform a
final review. If no concerns are present,
a permit will then be issued to you.
watercourse or wetland is to be altered in any way, permission from Saugeen
Conservation is necessary. The same
pre-consultation and review process as described above is followed for water-related
proposed in a watercourse (including inland lakes) in most cases Saugeen
Conservation will require that the project be undertaken only during a certain
time of year. Usually the ‘timing
window’ will be limited to the summer months, but this timing varies depending
upon the fish species present and stream flow characteristics at the
Conservation also reviews all projects for potential effects on fish habitat,
in accordance our Fish Habitat Management Agreement (for more about the
Agreement click here).
7) May I put in a pond?
If a pond
will be in or near a watercourse or in a Regulated Area, permission from
Saugeen Conservation should be obtained first.
New ponds on
watercourses or in wetlands are generally not allowed. The farther the proposed pond will be back
from such natural features, the more likely Saugeen Conservation will have fewer
8) What Happens to my SVCA Permit Application?
Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and
Watercourses permit application will be assessed by Saugeen Conservation staff
to determine whether the proposed works will affect the control of flooding,
erosion, dynamic beaches, pollution or the conservation of land. After this review, if your application is
acceptable then Saugeen Conservation staff will issue a permit to you. The permit will include conditions. At a subsequent meeting of the Saugeen
Conservation Board of Directors your permit is then approved by the full Board.
Saugeen Conservation may refuse to grant permission for your project, you have
the opportunity to attend a hearing before the Executive Committee. If you request a hearing you will be notified
as to the date and time. At the hearing
you may present your application to the Committee. Upon hearing the submission of the applicant
and reviewing other information submitted, the Executive Committee will make
its decision. If permission is refused,
you will be notified of the reasons in writing.
Within 30 days of receipt of the notice of refusal, you may appeal to
the Minster of Natural Resources. The
Minister’s office will assign the appeal to the Mining and Lands Commissioner,
who may dismiss the appeal or grant permission.